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North and South Korea begin removing landmines along border as part of Pyongyang summit agreement

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in walk together during a farewell ceremony before Moon's departure from North Korea. (Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images)

North and South Korean troops began removing landmines along the nations' fortified border on Monday, Reuters reported.

The move follows the pact made between Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in during last month's summit in Pyongyan, the capital of North Korea, according to a statement issued by South Korea's Defense Ministry.

An estimated 2 million mines are scattered throughout the 155-mile long, 2.5-mile-wide Demilitarized Zone, according to CBS News.

What's the story?

During the Korean leaders' third summit, they agreed to begin removing landmines from the Joint Security Area in Panmunjom within 20 days in an effort to remove tensions and build trust.

"It's the start of peace," said Kim Ki-ho, head of the private Korea Mine Clearance Research Institute, according to CBS News. "We have to remove those mines, though we are not taking out all the mines at the DMZ."

Eventually, the Koreas will have 35 unarmed personnel from each side at the JSA, the report said. Tourists will be allowed to cross freely between the two nations.

United Nations Command spokesman Col. Chad Carroll said U.S. forces would be providing support for the hazardous de-mining operation, but he would not confirm whether or not they would be assisting Korean forces.

“United States Forces Korea will perform a support role — to include having air medical evacuation assets available to respond within minutes of any potential medical emergencies,” Carroll told Reuters in a statement.

What else?

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is expected to hold talks with North Korea in the coming months.

One last thing…
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